TOPAZ MOUNTAIN, Utah (Isabelle Zehnder reporting) -- West Valley City Police Sergeant Mike Powell issued a News Release via email Friday morning stating human remains found in a shallow grave around Topaz Mountain during a search for missing West Valley City, Utah mom Susan Cox Powell are not ancient, as some have suggested, but are rather more recent, likely within the past 10 years.
News of the discovery of remains has spread like wildfire. Sgt. Powell confirmed that police would be transporting Susan's father, Chuck Cox, to the search site Friday at Chuck's request.
Some reports have raised questions in people's minds whether statements that there's a 50-50 chance the remains found are Susan's and that this was what police were looking for may have been a miscommunication by media.
Asked to confirm if these statements are correct, Sgt. Powell said in an email Thursday that rather than saying this was what they were looking for and that there's a 50-50 chance the remains belong to Susan, he would say that "It is indeed a significant find, however, of what significance still remains to be determined."
Information from WVCPD Press Release
In the WVCPD press release issued Friday morning it was confirmed that on the afternoon of Wednesday, September 14th, 2011, Carbon County Specialized Search Dogs and West Valley Police Investigators identified a location around Topaz Mountain that was believed to contain human remains.
Very limited information was available at the time of the discovery.
Early Thursday morning, September 15th, 2011, The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) along with an Anthropologist responded to the site location to assist with further investigation. While the location of the human remains was further investigated, search efforts continued in and around Topaz Mountain.
Later that afternoon, the determination was made by the BLM Anthropologist that the site location was not ancient, but more recent, Sgt.Powell wrote. The time frame estimation was most likely within the last 10 years, according to the Anthropologist. The site was also described as being what appeared to be a shallow grave.
According to WVCPD, it was determined that a deliberate and careful excavation would need to be conducted to further investigate the indication of human remains made by the Search Dogs. The process began Thursday and will continue until it is complete.
Regular search efforts will proceed as planned, Sgt. Powell said, and no other details are available at this time
WVCPD is the lead agency in the case of missing West Valley City, Utah mom Susan Cox Powell. Susan went missing in early December 2009. Her husband, Josh Powell, remains the only person of interest in her disappearance. Police have been frustrated that he has not cooperated with them.
News reports indicate Josh made a statement that the remains found in Topaz Mountain are likely ancient remains, and still holds to the theory he and his father, Steve Powell, have that Susan ran off with a man named Steven Koecher.
Steven vanished from Nevada over a week after Susan went missing. Susan vanished from West Valley City. According to police investigations in both states, the two didn't know each other, and police said they do not believe the cases are in any way related.